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Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have teamed up to encourage Web page operators to make the meaning of their pages understandable to search engines. The move may finally encourage widespread use of technology that makes online information as comprehensible to computers as it is to humans. If the effort works, the result will be not only better search results, but also a wave of other intelligent apps and services able to understand online information almost as well as we do. The three big Web companies launched the initiative, known as Schema.org , last week. It defines an interconnected vocabulary of terms that can be added to the HTML markup of a Web page to communicate the meaning of concepts on the page. A location referred to in text could be defined as a courthouse, which Schema.org understands as being a specific type of government building.
W3C's Semantic Web logo
Earlier this week we wrote about the classic approach to the semantic web and the difficulties with that approach. While the original vision of the layer on top of the current web, which annotates information in a way that is "understandable" by computers, is compelling; there are technical, scientific and business issues that have been difficult to address. One of the technical difficulties that we outlined was the bottom-up nature of the classic semantic web approach. Specifically, each web site needs to annotate information in RDF, OWL, etc. in order for computers to be able to "understand" it. As things stand today, there is little reason for web site owners to do that.
Every year ReadWriteWeb selects the top 10 products or developments across a range of categories. We kick off the 2010 'Best Of' series with our selection of the top 10 Semantic Web products and implementations of the year. This year we've chosen 5 products by semantically charged startups and 5 implementations by large organizations. The startups represent the cutting edge of Semantic Web. Each has made an impact on the Internet this year, with user growth and innovation.
The Resource Description Framework ( RDF ) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications [ 1 ] originally designed as a metadata data model .